Friday, August 28, 2009
"That advice may need heeding if the Environmental Protection Agency declares carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases dangerous pollutants, a move -- expected in the next couple weeks -- that would require the federal government to impose new rules limiting emissions.
But some skeptics say regulating carbon dioxide, a byproduct of burning fossil fuels, may be a difficult task, especially since people emit carbon dioxide with every breath.
"The EPA doesn't have the manpower to implement the regulations the way they would have to be," said David Kreutzer, senior policy analyst in energy economics and climate change at the conservative Heritage Foundation.
Kreutzer said new regulations would trigger a flood of lawsuits, would create massive paperwork and the EPA should have no reasonable expectation that people would comply.
In April, the EPA released its proposed finding that man-made pollution is a cause of global warming, triggering a 60-day comment period before the agency issues a final decision.
The finding was prompted by a Supreme Court ruling two years ago that said greenhouse gases are pollutants under the Clean Air Act and must be regulated if found to be a human health danger.
An EPA spokesman told FOXNews.com that no date has been set for a final ruling.
"The EPA received over 300,000 comments on the proposal and is currently reviewing these comments in preparing the final rule," the agency said in a statement.
Congressional aides, however, say the EPA likely will issue its final ruling next month when Congress reconvenes and its first proposal will be to blame auto vehicles for the emissions.
That's just the start, however. Aides say later rules will extend to other sources and require a permit from the EPA to build anything that emits more than 25,000 tons of these pollutants. That could include schools, nursing homes or a Walmart.
In addition to carbon dioxide, the EPA said five other emissions are believed to cause warming when they concentrate in the atmosphere: methane, which is emitted by gassy cows as well as steam boilers; nitrous oxide, found in cooking sprays and used as anesthesia by dentists, better known as laughing gas; hydrofluorocarbons, which are used in refrigerators and aerosols; perfluorocarbons, a gas permeated by fire extinguishers, refrigerators and high end ski waxes; and sulfur hexafluoride, more commonly known for its use in circuit breakers, switchgear and other electrical equipment.
While the EPA follows its path, a climate change bill now working its way through Congress would also impose the first legislative limits on greenhouse gases, eventually leading to an 80 percent reduction by mid-century by putting a price on each ton of climate-altering pollution.
President Obama has said he prefers that Congress act to pass the legislation rather than address climate change through administrative action. He said he wants a bill that utilizes market-based solutions to reduce carbon pollution and transition to a clean energy economy that creates millions of green jobs. The EPA is unable to use market solutions and lacks the authority to tax.
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll says 55 percent of Americans approve of the way Obama is dealing with energy issues, including his plan to limit greenhouse gases with the climate change legislation, while 30 percent disapprove. By a somewhat narrower majority -- 52 percent to 43 percent -- Americans back a system that would set a ceiling for greenhouse gas emissions and would allow companies to buy and sell permits to emit the gases.
"Most Americans would strongly support the president's and the bipartisan commitment to comprehensive legislation that addresses our dangerous addiction to foreign oil and create new jobs and addresses the climate crisis," said Vickie Patton, an attorney with the Environmental Defense Fund.
Patton added that there's a "misinformation campaign designed to divide Americans instead of bringing Americans together to afford solutions."
Senate Democrats want legislation passed before talks in Denmark in December on a new global treaty to reduce heat-trapping gases.
But the legislation, known by opponents as "cap and trade," may be in trouble. In June, the House narrowly passed its version of the bill 219-212 after months of negotiations that led to last-minute deals and significant concessions to win the votes of moderate Democrats from industrial and agricultural states concerned about the costs that would be imposed on businesses in their districts.
Further compromises will be needed for the bill to pass the Senate, which has tried and failed before to pass legislation to curb greenhouse gases.
A GOP Senate aide told FOXNews.com that the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will introduce a climate change bill on the same day senators return from summer break.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has set a deadline to have all committees working on climate change finish by the end of September, the aide said. But it's unclear whether Democrats are still pushing for a vote before December after the public backlash to Democratic-sponsored health care reforms.
"We're starting to see hints that is no longer a viable option," the aide said, "especially given the number of Democrats who have expressed concern about cap and trade."
Kreutzer said he believes the EPA decision is a tool being used by the Obama administration to pressure the Senate to pass the legislation.
"None of this is surprising," he said. "There's a lot of people who want to use the bogeyman of EPA regulation to force people into the cap-and-trade bill. ... They don't want to give up that lever."
Kreutzer called EPA regulation a "ransom" for climate change legislation.
"It's a stone axe to go after something where you need a scalpel," he said.
He suggested a simple solution would be for Congress to pass a one-line bill that declares carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. But it's an unlikely solution."
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
We are in the midst of two wars. The War in Afghanistan, as of this past Sunday (Aug. 23), is "serious" and "deteriorating" according to the top military officer, Adm. Mike Mullen.
Like the famous childrens book Where's Waldo?, we must ask ourselves the question: Where's Obama?
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Mr. Obama has gone back on the campaign trail to try to sell his health care reform to the nation. Mostly hand-picked, sympathetic attendees have been showing up to his town hall meetings. He continues to make the same points regarding health care reform, which need to be addressed specifically. I hope to address more in future articles.
1. We need health care reform.
We do not need health care reform. We have the best health care system in the world. We need health insurance reform.
2. Free market health insurance has caused our current problem.
It is the government that has caused the current problem. We have not had free market health insurance in this country since 1965. It is not possible to consider our system of medical payment free market when the government controls $.60 of every dollar spent on health care.
3. The evil and greedy health insurance companies have caused prices to skyrocket.
Again, it's the government that has caused prices to skyrocket. Medicare and Medicaid are the 800 pound gorilla and insurance companies are the fleas on the gorilla. Nothing can be done by the private insurance companies that has not been done by Medicare and Medicaid. The federal government opens the door and the private insurance companies follow. It is the government manipulation of the free market that has caused our current health insurance problem. The out of control medical costs in Britain and Canada, as well as in Massachusetts and other states that have tried government health care prove this point.
4. Nearly 50 million Americans are without health care.
Nearly 13 million Americans are without health insurance. No one in the United States is without health care. Government regulations prohibit patients from being turned away from hospitals, which must provide medical care to anyone. The huge number that the Obama administration has used is highly inflated.
5. A government option will lower costs and improve quality of care.
A government option will increase costs and reduce quality of care. In every instance so far government involvement in medical services has caused prices to increase. Medicare spending has increased at a rate greater than 10 times that which was projected. Medicare and Medicaid will be broke in less than nine years. Adding another entitlement program will cause economic disaster. The Congressional Office of Management and Budget has stated that the president's plan is unaffordable. Further, the necessary rationing in order to even begin the program will reduce quality of care.
6. If you like your insurance and your doctor you can keep them.
The same things were said at the inception of Medicare. Medicare was supposed to be a supplemental insurance plan for retired people. It now covers the disabled as well and those over the age of 65, who are now ineligible for any other type of primary medical insurance. The government option will become the only option. Therefore, it's not an option and in the end hospitals, doctors, and all health care companies will be working directly and only for the government.
7. Government medical insurance is more cost efficient.
Government medical insurance is less efficient. The government, by force of law, transfers administrative costs to the private sector. Hospitals and doctors' offices must assume the burden of administration under threat of criminal penalty. This unfunded administrative burden transferred to private individuals and private insurance is then added to the cost of the supposedly free-market healthcare system.
8. The government option is necessary in order to prevent loss of insurance by individuals with medical problems.
Government regulations make it mandatory for hospitals to treat patients regardless of their ability to pay. The government can certainly pass a simple regulation making it illegal for medical insurance plans to be canceled due to illness on the part of the insured. This would be a simple solution but of course would not increase government control over our lives.
9. The government option would ensure treatment for sick individuals who would otherwise have lost health care insurance. It would prevent lifetime limits on medical care.
This is blatantly untrue. There are definitive limits to Medicare that are not being publicized. For example, a review of Medicare regulations shows it will pay up to a maximum of 90 days in the hospital for each medical incident. After that, a patient must be in a rehabilitation facility for 60 days in a row in order for Medicare to begin another cycle of payment. Similarly, there are limits on most other Medicare services. While private medical insurance may have a total lifetime limit on the amount that can be spent, there is almost never a limit on the number of days in the hospital.
10. A government option will not result in rationing.
The major government options already in existence employ rationing every day. Prohibitively difficult preauthorization, statements of medical necessity, convoluted and complicated paperwork, and often impossible to meet requirements result in rationing on a huge scale. Furthermore, delay in payment, denial of payment for services already rendered and other tactics reduce access to medical care on a widespread basis. The government may not call this rationing but it is an insidious form of rationing that will be an integral part of any government plan. Medicare misuses and abuses its funding and is guilty of literally stealing from hospitals and physicians.
As an example of this thievery, due to a change in the corporate status of my practice I was required to apply for a new national provider identification number (NPI) in March of this year. Within several weeks, without exception, all of the private insurance companies had registered the number and were paying on claims. After five months and exhaustive work of over 140 hours by my office staff Medicare and Medicaid had still not paid on a single claim. Finally, on August 14, Medicare made their first payment on claims that were five months old. Yet, if we do not bill Medicare within three months of the date of service, Medicare will not pay us at all. Government regulation and control permeates the entire medical system.
11. A government option will simplify the payment for medical services.
The government has always made things more complicated and expensive. This is part of their rationing system. The government has a habit of requiring new provider numbers every couple of years that must be used for all claims, including private insurance claims. When these are instituted, payment can be delayed for as long as six months. To see how "simple" the federal government makes medical claims, what follows are my required identification numbers.
Medicare#R0000BLCGY (PTAN) OLD
Medicare # R147304
(PTAN) **NEW** R147303
NEW Tax ID # 264520277
OLD Tax ID# 911768627
DEA # BRxxxxxxx (Hidden to prevent use)
NPI# 1306924691 (individual)
NPI Group # 1235371485
Every point the president has made regarding his health plan is either a gross misrepresentation or an outright lie. The purpose of this plan is to ensure dependence on government and a financial windfall for his cronies, including trial lawyers, and has nothing to do with concern about the cost of medical care or about the health or lives of American citizens.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
That's a pretty significant headline, huh?
The American people, because of his/her ability to stand up and voice an opinion, have shaken the Obama Administration and changed the health care playing field.
We did it. Not Congress. Not the president. Not lobbyists. You.
Maybe Conservatism isn't dead after all.
There are probably four good reasons for this supposed victory over the Obama White House.
1) The American outcry over a government-run health care system
2) Barack Obama's approval plunge
3) The Democrats want to claim victory for health care reform.
4) Politicians realized that the political life is very, very fragile
All four reasons probably played an integral part in this recent development. However, don't be fooled into backing down just yet. If you give them an inch, they'll use your tax money for a 787 billion dollar stimulus package. Oh, wait...
Does this mean that the health care reform process will be smooth sailing from here on out? Hardly. There will be provisions that the Democrats pass that are statist in nature. We'll probably be taxed to death, but what did you expect? Look who's in charge. However, the American people's passion regarding this issue has created room for compromise and meaningful reform that DOES NOT involve government control.
In recent American history, when did the American people swing enough weight around to change a policy decision of this magnitude?
Today is a good day, America. It's not set in stone, but soak it up. If your keeping score...tally one for the American people.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Anyways, here is a great ad, that is spot on, from the RNC about the first 200 days of the Obama Administration:
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
This is no different.
The "Cash for Clunkers" has been a huge hit across the nation. So huge that the government, car dealerships, and related websites have been overwhelmed by the traffic of consumers. Well, in order to take this burden off some of the aforementioned entities, the government has created a website (do not click on the link!) called www.cars.gov.
Usually, when downloading software or entering a website, most of us just press the 'ACCEPT' button so that we can get on with our mission. Nobody reads those things and, apparently, the government knows that. The following video discusses its purpose and the acceptable use policy associated with the website. Read and listen to the language of this agreement. Unbelievable!
Nationalization starts small, but over time, it devours everything we know as good. Pass this along to anyone who is considering the 'Cash for Clunker' deal.